My friend Tammie went and saw Rudy Giuliani today at a Mark Green fundraiser. I desperately wanted to go, but I had a very important meeting at work today that I could not miss.
Here is Tammie's report and impression of today's event. It sure sounds like she had a great time.
In the Shadow of Greatness
This is what I realized as I sat today less than 25 feet from America’s Mayor, Rudy Giuliani. This is Time magazine’s Man of the Year for 2001. This is the man who brought New York City from ruins to greatness. And, as Mark Green pointed out, it is about so much more than September 11, 2001. It is about how the Mayor of New York City took was once called “the rotting Big Apple” and made it a safe city to be proud of. I was writing so fast, trying to soak up the brilliance of the former Mayor, and I hope Presidential Candidate in ’08. But, as Giuliani said himself, anyone that is running now and not focusing on the 2006 elections is foolish and selfish. Right now, we need to get ourselves a new governor!
Surprising first impression – Rudy Giuliani is a very funny man! He cracked jokes and seemed to know just when to lighten the mood. He noted how political leaders get blamed for everything, so he wanted to get credit for the Yankees winning the World Series during his tenure and a reduction in snowfall. He even called Paul Bucher on the carpet for using his Blackberry during the speech, “I see your D.A. is here and he’s on his Blackberry, did someone just get indicted?” to a roar of laughter from the crowd. Like Bucher, Giuliani got tough on crime. He took over a city with 2,000 murders a year and left it with less than 600. A 2/3 decrease – a lower murder rate than the City of Chicago, which is less than half the size of N.Y.C. But, the most amazing thing is that he did not only focus on murders and violent crimes. He went after all the seemingly small crimes too, from graffiti to the guys that used to squeegee windows at a red light and demand money. Mr. Giuliani says we have to get away from this mentality that small crimes are “normal” and make them shocking again. BRILLIANT. It’s true, isn’t it? Why do we accept more and more each year, and become de-sensitized. These small crimes are what kill a neighborhood, and kill the spirit of the community.
The recipe for success laid out by Giuliani includes increasing the police department and increasing the accountability for each officer. He explained how he created a system to measure crime in every precinct, every day. This information was discussed once a week at a meeting, and the force was distributed accordingly. The officers were sent where they were needed most and created a presence. He also merged three smaller police departments into one. He created accountability and crime dropped a total of 57%.
Giuliani says you must have a safe neighborhood with a good school, to create growth and progress. It seems simple, but he showed us how to do it. His plan worked and 200 new businesses came into the previously “worst” neighborhoods. New business means new jobs. People need to feel safe going to work and school, and while at work and school. They cannot be worried about being victimized. He points out that poor people are most often the victims of crimes. Crimes holds people and communities back. The former Mayor said, “I love people. I care about poor people”. He resents the fact that the Democrats get all the credit for caring for the poor, especially when it was the previous Dem. Leadership that locked New Yorkers into such crime and poverty.
Giuliani also resents the school of thought that poor kids have no parents or bad parents. And poor kids aren’t the “problem” of those in the suburbs. He calls on Americans to realize that it is everyone’s problem that so many kids are forced to go into inadequate schools each day. He loves the school voucher and choice programs in Wisconsin. The school choice program forces the public school down the road to rise and compete for business (students). It gives parents that cannot otherwise afford to give their son or daughter a chance, to have a choice and a new opportunity. In fact, the former Mayor claims that this is the most dramatic way to increase education, by creating competition and choice.
Mark Green seemed humbled seated behind Rudy Giuliani and looked like he felt as honored as I was to be soaking up the genius being offered. As Green said, Giuliani has the “recipe for leadership”. Giuliani feels Green is the one to get Wisconsin back on track, and closed as he began, on a funny note. “He needs money, because I don’t know if you’ve noticed but the media is slanted”. As conservatives, we don’t have the benefit of FREE coverage, so we need more money just to break even.
Thank you Mayor Giuliani, for sharing your wisdom. I left ready to not only work harder for Mark Green, but ready to put the Giuliani in ’08 bumper sticker on my car! This is the Right stuff, folks. Women lining up to leave said “I wish I had taken notes, I need to run home and write things down!” I am glad I brought the ever present notebook, and glad to share it with all of you! And I am glad that Kim Travis let me be her daughter for a day! Thanks Kim for the invite!